TCA Partners Handicap 4th October 2015
Fantastic weather greeted those 38 cyclists who remembered to adjust their alarm clocks and get out of bed in time for GSCC’s TCA Partners 4 lap handicap race.

Brian Long and Don Stuart peddled off the line on the limit mark of 35 minutes. Brian is still going strong and will celebrate his 83rd birthday this week. Congratulations. As an early birthday present Robbo gave limit a 21 minute head start on the next group.

It was the 10:30 group of Paul Bird, Darren Williams, Jamie Robinson, Peter McDonough, Johnny Parrello, Grant Rogers and James Stuart that made the early running, catching Longy and Don and the 14:00 group which included big guns John Bell and Dennis Sonogan. They hit the front with a lap to go but could see a few groups behind as they crested the rise on Forrest Road for the last time.
Meanwhile at the back of the race, the Scratch group had there heads down and were rewarded by their hard work when after 2 laps they had closed to about a minute behind second scratch, who in turn had closed to a similar distance behind 3rd scratch. Unfortunately a lap later as scratch got the bell the gap was still significant. 3rd scratch with Kane Airey, Darryl Suter, Jim Knott, Ian Amsden, Peter Ladd ,Chris Fenech and Dave Spence were still flying hitting mid to high 40’s as they screamed down Grays Road.

Scratch were still working with great cohesion with a few massive turns being put in by trial rider Jock Hughson, backed up by Dave Warren and Andy Baker. Still as we surged up Hendry’s Road it was touch and go if we could catch Jeff Miller, Josh Williams Harvey Lang and the rest of the guys in second scratch. A great effort considering they dropped one of their group on the first lap.

Turning up misery lane for the last time the race consisted of three distinct groups all within 400m of each other. I guess the rise and the headwind finally took its toll and with 2km to go all the groups came together. Unfortunately in a scene reminiscent of Monday morning on the West Gate Bridge, a few cars decided to join us. We had cars overtaking us and having to merge with 30 odd sweating and exhausted cyclists on their limit as opposite direction traffic came past. Thankfully there were no incidents and we approached Larcombes Road as one. Richard Lyle jumped on the front and put some hurt on the rest of us. New member Craig Hannah then took over as we straightened up on Larcombes Road. It was pretty cagey from that point on with no one willing to have a crack. Josh Williams went early the Daryl Suter and Dave Warren sensed their chance and surged to the front with 2-300 metres to run and opened a significant gap. The pack sprinted but too late and Daryl held on to win from Brad Haskett, Jock Hughson with Dave Warren hanging on to fourth. It was a massive effort by Daryl and while I was disappointed to be beaten, it was gratifying to see him coughing up his lungs as I caught up with him past the finish.

Thanks to Dave Robinson for handicapping a close race and our marshals, Roger Cronk, David Pike, Marcus Coppock, Peter Wynne and referee Terry Robinson.
By Brad Haskett.

1: Daryl Suter (5.00) Ave Speed, 36.7km/h
2: Brad Haskett. Fastest time 1:14:55 Ave speed 39.1km/h
3: Dave Warren (scratch)
4: Andy Baker (scratch)
5: Kane Airey (5:00)
6: Jeff Miller (3:00)
7: Jim Knott (5:00)
8: Richard Lyle (scratch)
9: Harvey Lang (3:00)
10: Ian Amsden (5:00)

Well done to the trial riders Jock Hughson and Mal Cole, welcome to new member Craig Hannah and welcome back to Andrew Read after his hip operation in the middle of the year. Thanks again to TCA Partners for their support in first aid training
Next week: Thursday Night Criterium races start at Belmont 6pm. Colac Red Rock at Cororook 10am Start.